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SERVICE INTEGRATION IN A REGIONAL HOMELESSNESS SERVICE SYSTEM Joint research project between Northern Rivers Social Development Council and Regional Futures.

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Presentation on theme: "SERVICE INTEGRATION IN A REGIONAL HOMELESSNESS SERVICE SYSTEM Joint research project between Northern Rivers Social Development Council and Regional Futures."— Presentation transcript:

1 SERVICE INTEGRATION IN A REGIONAL HOMELESSNESS SERVICE SYSTEM Joint research project between Northern Rivers Social Development Council and Regional Futures Institute, Southern Cross University. Funded under the National Homelessness Research Fund See:

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3 Research Questions: 1. What service integration models work in regional areas? 2. What are the barriers/service system gaps to be addressed to maximise regional service integration? 3. What is the potential for increased cross sector collaboration in a regional setting? 4. What aspects of the findings can be generalised to other non-metropolitan settings?

4 Acknowledgement The most integrated service system is no substitute for an adequate supply of affordable housing and adequate resources

5 What Is Service Integration?.....linking, collaborating, networking, coordinating, communicating, cooperating, connecting, interacting, sharing, partnering, working together.....

6 Service Integration - Great But... – No single model suits all situations – Considerable time and effort to establish AND then to sustain – Costs before it saves – Not a panacea or an end in itself Sometimes single agency responses are all that is needed Not all services have to be equally integrated

7 Levels of Service Integration Service level (BOTTOM UP – voluntary, operational) – Individual Worker relationships – Interagencies, sector training – Service level MOUs, referral protocol or other agreed coordination practice System level (TOP DOWN – mandated, structural) – shared systems, joint programs, pooled funds

8 Integrated Homelessness Service Delivery Models Support only models – information exchange, referral protocols, case conferencing/coordination, crisis accommodation and support Support + housing models Foyers, Common Ground, Rapid Housing

9 Survey results – 3 regions 56.7% 35% 8.3%

10 Service Connections Clarence Tweed Richmond

11 What service system integration models work in regional areas? 28 examples cited – mix of service and system level, support-only and support +housing, multiple sector models Identified models in research region – service level, houseless, single sector -info sharing, communication mechanisms, some service level agreements

12 Critical factors for effective service integration (ranked) 1 Regular communication, networking; relationship building 2 Partnership agreements and MOUs 3Access to current service information 4 Access to housing Willingness to work collaboratively Joint planning Access to and involvement of government services and personnel Coordinated case management and referral 5 Sector building capacity

13 Service integration requires (literature and respondents): - Formal+informal mechanisms -System +service delivery level elements -Senior personnel with decision making authority -Multiple sectors Asked the wrong question Place-relevant strategies (opps + limitations) Service availability, govt presence, geographic spread (services & users), transport, housing supply, local strengths, local knowledge & exp., relationships

14 What barriers and service system gaps need to be addressed to maximise service integration in a regional setting? Knowledge of service system Capacity for early intervention Communication opportunities Sector building capacity; facilitated coordination Involvement of senior personnel, govt. & mainstream agencies Access to affordable housing Regional: absence of key services, p/t workforce, limited transport, distance, cost of outreach, service size

15 What is the potential for increased cross sector collaboration in a regional setting? Limited acknowledgement of homelessness service system membership Examples at operational level only (not system level) System functioning objectives and resources Use of existing cross sector forums/networks and local planning structures Varies from region to region – opps and limitations

16 What aspects of the findings can be generalised to other non-metropolitan settings? Caution against replication & generic responses Key – responses built on place relevant opportunities and limitations Access to key services (Centrelink, social housing providers, community centres) Distance, access to transport, outreach capacity Service size, p/t workforce Champions Formal & informal networks, Valued relationships

17 Thank you Trish Evans Northern Rivers Social Development Council


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